Afghan Taliban - Government officials secret talks in Saudi Arabia: Taliban's official response surface

Afghan Taliban - Government officials secret talks in Saudi Arabia: Taliban's official response surface
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PESHAWAR - Afghan Taliban have rejected the news of talks with the Afghan government.

Taliban spokesman denied on Friday that representatives met an Afghan government delegation this week, after sources in the movement told Reuters that officials from both sides met in Saudi Arabia to discuss security ahead of elections next month.

The Taliban’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a short statement denying the meeting, less than a month before voters are due to go to the polls on Oct. 20 to elect a new Afghan parliament. President Ashraf Ghani’s office declined to comment.

The process has been hampered by fears of attacks on polling stations and campaign rallies. Ensuring the vote passes off smoothly and without violence has been a top priority for the Afghan government and its international partners.

“They requested us to help them conduct peaceful elections,” said one of the Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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